Mysteries and Manners
April 5, 2008
through May 3, 2008
NEW YORK, NY (March 18, 2008) - Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Mysteries and Manners, a solo exhibition featuring new works by Alex Gross. For the artist’s first show at the gallery, he has created a collection of large oil paintings on canvas as well as a series of small collage paintings on antique cabinet photographs from the 19th Century. Mysteries and Manners will be Alex’s first show in New York, marking his fifth solo gallery exhibition, to date.
Drawing from a vast range of artistic influences, Alex has a keen interest in and appreciation of foreign cultures and world history. His paintings often contain references to both vintage Japanese and Chinese advertising imagery, as well as contemporary American advertising. Other important influences include Gothic Flemish painting, early American lithography, and Victorian wedding photography. In Mysteries and Manners, Alex incorporates elements inspired by these diverse sources, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of art history, in exploring such themes as globalization, industrialization, consumerism, alienation, reconciliation, and mortality.
Mysteries and Manners features highly involved, figurative paintings that contain enigmatic narratives. Birds and butterflies, snakes and goats, crashing aircraft, beautiful brides, and even ice cream cones populate Alex’s large canvases. There is a dreamlike quality in all of his work, creating unusual hybrids that form some strange new world, which we cannot fully decipher. Alex’s figures, barely emotive at times, seem peacefully ambivalent towards their complex, chaotic environments. His work suggests the unspoken distress of humanity—that, which is understood by all, yet remains hidden from human consciousness.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alex Gross received a BFA with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 1990. Since then, he has achieved steady success as a gallery artist. Alex taught at his Alma Mater from 1994 until 2005, and was a recipient of two faculty grants there. A recipient of the prestigious Artist Fellowship from the Japan Foundation in 2000, Alex spent two months traveling throughout Japan, researching and collecting a wide variety of Japanese Fine and Commercial art. Part of his collection was compiled and published by Taschen under the title Japanese Beauties in 2004. The Art of Alex Gross, Alex’s monograph from Chronicle Books, was released last year to strong sales internationally. In 2007, Alex’s first retrospective museum show was held at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California.